Any individual who owns shares of a company in Brazil must be enrolled with the tax authorities. This enrollment is called CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas). The CPF is also required in order to open bank accounts, buy cars or real estate and, basically, for any commercial activity in Brazil.
There used to be only two ways to obtain a CPF number. Either the foreign investor would have to come to Brazil and reques it here, or he would have to schedule an appointment at the Brazilian consulate in his country and obtain the CPF there, in person.
This process was tedious and slow.
Fortunatelly, a couple months ago the Brazilian Revenue Service updated its procedures and started to issue CPF inscriptions via power of attorney. This means that the foreign investor can name a representative in Brazil who will be able to visit the Revenue Service’s offices and obtain a CPF number. The physical presence of the investor will not be required at any time.
The new process will speed up the incorporation of companies. It will also make it easier for a foreign to purchase properties in Brazil or to open a bank account here.